Alaska Waste, a private trash hauler in Anchorage, is converting the used food grease it collects to power its trucks, according to a report in the Associated Press. The grease, which previously had been destined for Alaskan landfills or sent to the lower 48 states for processing, will now make its way to a $3 million conversion facility where it will be turned into biodiesel. The trash hauler is collecting grease from 240 customers such as McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and Carl’s Jr.’s restaurants and Walmart and Safeway stores.
At least a few businesses had been collecting their own used grease for energy generation purposes prior to the Alaska Waste initiative, according to a report in the Alaska Daily News. The company may partner with a distributor in the future in order to allow consumers to purchase the processed biofuel.
The biodiesel will be mixed with a petroleum-based diesel fuel for use in the company’s trash hauling vehicles.
The conversion facility is the first of its kind in the state, and is designed to process 250,000 gallons of biodiesel. The plant was built using private funds, without the use of government subsidies, according to the report.
Several other regional waste hauling companies have recently jumped on the biodiesel bandwagon. U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta became the first major foodservice distributor in Georgia to fuel its entire delivery fleet with biodiesel, partially made from recycled food grease. Cogeneration systems using used food grease from restaurants and food service facilities could save customers up to $800 a month, according to Owl Power Company, which manufactures a cogeneration system.